NASCAR Truck Series Simulations: CRC Brakleen 150

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
NASCAR Truck Series Simulations: CRC Brakleen 150

For the final time in 2023, we get to play our favorite game in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

Am I actually dumb enough to bet against Kyle Busch?

Busch will run his final truck race of the season on Saturday in the CRC Brackleen 150, and FanDuel Sportsbook's Truck Series betting odds have Busch at +110 to win. Yowza.

I'll be up front about this one: my model isn't close to that. My simulations have Busch at 21.8% to win, which I think is too low.

There is at least some validity to what the model is saying, though. Since the start of last year, Busch has won two of nine Truck Series races (22.2%), and it is a pretty tough field this week with both Ross Chastain and Christopher Bell in the mix (though driving for lesser teams).

As a result, I think the model's right to be below market on Busch. But I do think the model is too low, as well, meaning we have to proceed with caution if we see value elsewhere.

With those caveats in mind, here's how my simulations view the field for Saturday's race before practice and qualifying.

Win Odds
Top 5
Kyle Busch21.8%52.4%68.9%
Corey Heim13.6%37.5%55.2%
Christopher Bell7.7%23.6%38.0%
Zane Smith7.5%24.2%40.3%
Ross Chastain7.0%20.3%34.1%
Christian Eckes6.4%19.0%32.3%
Carson Hocevar5.7%17.8%30.5%
View Full Table

Even with three big-time Cup drivers in the field, Corey Heim checks in with 13.6% win odds in the model. That's a big endorsement of him, and you can understand why when you look at Heim's season thus far.

Heim has yet to win a race on a faster track this year. But he was runner-up in both Charlotte and Kansas, and he had a third-place average running position in Nashville. The speed has been there even if he hasn't gotten the checkered flag.

Heim and Busch have gone head-to-head three times on faster tracks since the start of last year. Heim won at Gateway last year while driving for Busch's team, was runner-up at Kansas this year while Busch was seventh, and finished fourth in Busch's win at Vegas. Heim has held his own against the best of the best.

That's why I feel fine buying into what the model is saying about Heim for this one. Heim's implied odds at +1100 at FanDuel are 8.3%, a good chunk below where I have him. Even if the model is too low on Busch, that's still enough wiggle room for Heim to be a legitimate value.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.